Legal Tips (No Tricks) for Emerging IT Businesses

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Liutikas Dan55944By Dan Liutikas, Managing Attorney of ITLA and CompTIA’s Chief Legal Officer

Whether starting a brand new cloud services company or managing

an intentionally small MSP business, today’s IT professionals can expect an ever-increasing array of issues to stand in the way of their success. The financial challenges alone keep many companies from achieving their goals, and a variety of personnel and regulatory concerns tend to make those objectives even harder to hit. Needless to say, small business owners have a lot to deal with each and every day ─ and legal concerns are often one of the biggest challenges.

For IT firms, virtually every operational or client-focused activity exposes some level of risk. Every entrepreneur and manager has to be readily aware of today’s business environment where conflict and litigation has become an accepted norm. Even when you think you have strong relationships with your customers, you may still find that these customers might let attorneys dictate how to approach dispute resolution with you rather than deal with the matters personally. Conflict resolution isn’t what it used to be, even in the SMB space.

Solution providers and vendors must have access to quality legal resources today to help mitigate their concerns and tackle potential issues in a more proactive manner. By investing some time upfront with a well-qualified attorney who understands your specific business needs, you can focus more attention on the things that matter most. Whether that be landing a major new client, expanding your sales team, or simply spending a week vacationing with your family; with solid legal advice and support, you can alleviate unnecessary stress.

Legal Needs of the Channel

Every industry has its own unique needs and the IT space is no different. The bread and butter opportunities for today’s solution providers are through the professional services the offer. Combined with product sales, project work and recurring revenue options, the complexity of the relationships and responsibilities continues to rise. Each makes the need for trusted legal resources much more critical.

Consider just a few of the things even the smallest IT firm may have to contend with:

  1. Organizational documents: preparation, filing and updates
  2. Contracts: customized to meet the needs of various clients and services
  3. Merger and acquisition agreements: don’t sign a thing unless you’ve consulted an attorney
  4. Regulatory compliance: what you don’t know can literally destroy a small business
  5. Dispute resolution: finding creative solutions to solving disputes requires experience and expertise

These are just a few things solution providers, or any business owner for that matter, has to get right. They need skilled support; someone who understands the ins-and-outs of the IT industry with a broad knowledge of the regulatory issues you have to deal with on a daily basis. Those professionals should also have a solid comprehension of managed and cloud services contracts, and knows what to look for in vendor and distribution partnership agreements.

IT business owners can significantly reduce their risk and their stress levels by engaging with attorneys who know channel language, operations and the intricacies of the industry.

The new CompTIA Legal Services Program administered by InfoTech Law Advocates (ITLA) programs offers that assurance, giving VARs, MSPs and vendors access to a team of industry-vetted professionals. They can assess your company’s specific risks, obligations and opportunities, and address the issues you need help with. Of course, CompTIA Premier Members get to enjoy several additional benefits with ITLA, including:

  • A free online risk assessment tool that evaluates all areas of your business and identifies potential risks and vulnerabilities;
  • Guaranteed pricing with flat/subscription fees;
  • Once you complete the assessment, you’ll spend an hour in a free consultation with an attorney to review your specific business liabilities and needs;
  • Finally, ITLA will handle your annual state entity filing for no charge (

Whether big or small, every channel organization deserves support from qualified professionals who understand the industry. The ITLA team offers that assurance and will work hard to give you more time to focus on your customers and growing the business.

Learn more about CompTIA Premier Memberships today and be sure to check out the new legal services program page for more details on our services.